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First Love
by Andrew Nusz
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1 Samuel 17:45-47, Romans 12, 2 Corinthains 5:1-10 (NIV)

Throughout the Bible, I see a purpose in life for all. Yet that purpose, if I look very closely, has a heavy price. In 1 Samuel 17:45-47, it's speaking on David's talk with Goliath. He was on fire. He knew the truths of God and he made use of them. He took a bold step to the front line, on fire for God.

1 Samuel 17:45-47 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

What happens immediately afterwards though is the effect of being in a right relationship with God. Life suddenly turns upside down and you're the enemy of all, the closer you are with God. Throughout the rest of the book I'm seeing Saul completely mad, wanting to kill David. I believe he knew the truth. The favor of God was with David and he became extremely jealous.

I'm looking at my own life wondering what this all means. What will happen if I really open myself up to the Lord completely? Allow the fire to burn bright, having God show His truths through me. Am I really ready for what lies in wait for those who obey God to the extreme?

Even if we are entertaining the thought, there is one thing we must keep in mind. We must sacrifice ourselves in every area of life which is the hardest thing to do. Romans 12 is a very good place to start if we want to follow God fully. It gives an outline of what God expects of us who serve Him.

Reading through the chapter though, we get the feeling "how in the world am I suppose to keep all of these?" The answer is always in the very first commandment God gave us all. Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." When we make an effort to uphold this highest commandment of God, all else falls into place. Relationships change from lacking to a spirit filled love that flows into each other's hearts where the spirits commune with one another in joy.

Romans 12:9-13 "Love must be sincere, Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

I can look at these verses, back at my life and feel like the tiniest person in the world sometimes. God commands us to love in the way He loves us. It is through this kind of love that reaches people. It is what keeps the fire burning within us to be zealous for God. It's what keeps marriages and relationships together through the most difficult times in life. But when we try to do all of this on our own, through personal experience, I can say, it can never be done. It is impossible. It will tear us apart to the point where nothing remains and what we once were for God is nothing but ashes. It's an extreme struggle to love in today's world the way God says we should. I can only see one way where marriages, where testimonies and the like of all Christians can be effective. It is if we start from the beginning. We make it a point to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Romans 12:14-16 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited."

We can walk through life with heads held high or we can humble ourselves to the ground, kneeling before God which is the only way we can live in harmony, keep pride from ourselves and interact with all men. It's a daily struggle that must be met with fierce strength. We must take up the sword every day, even when it seems we've fought our last battle and have surrendered all things to the enemy.

If we are Christians, God is faithful and just. He will never forget us. He will never leave us, even in the darkest of times when all we want is to lay down the sword and breath our last. God is a God of wonders. He is a God of miracles and healing that goes beyond the understanding of all. If we look up and we ask God to forgive, He will restore us with new strength. We will be newly awakened to the things of God. What was once blind becomes clear. What was once an impossible burden becomes a light weight. Only focus the eyes on God daily for it is He who gives us the strength to walk in the shadows where evil is only a step away. Oh God, have mercy on a man of foolish perceptions. Keep me in Your hands Lord and pardon all my sins. Reach into me and restore my strength.

Life is a journey in pain with a single hope that chases away all the darkness in life and brings the Light in. God never ever said life would be easy. For the Christian, life is harder than that of any other person. Daily we struggle and daily we fall. But with a few true godly friends and a covenant like that of David and Jonathan between us and God ...the war is in our midst. But we have overcome it all through Christ who is within us.

And to this observation, man will see the mystery of God within us. We will be the living testimonies of Christ, the living God. He who hears let him hear. All of creation cries out for God. We must do the same.

2 Corinthains 5:7-9 We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."
~Andrew Nusz~

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